London river services

Our aim is to increase passenger journeys on the river to 12 million by 2020 (River Action Plan, 2013, see below), therefore it is important that future development proposals, where relevant, take account of the opportunities that the river could present and their impact on London's Blue Ribbon Network (page 228, chapter 7 of the London Plan). Relevant developments should support and promote the use of river services to their occupiers in order to meet this target.

Read the River Action Plan in full.

Why plan?

The London Plan (2011) includes policies that advise development proposals should account for the Blue Ribbon Network to support the use of the River Thames for recreational, tourist and freight purposes.

Requirements for your planning application

It is essential that developments which are within 750 metres of a pier served by river bus services include river services as part of their baseline conditions, in order to assess the opportunities for public transport currently available and where additional capacity may be required to serve the development. This should include River Tours services, River Bus services and river-associated freight.

Where, as part of the development plans, a new pier is proposed or required, the applicant should enter into discussions with TfL at the earliest opportunity, during the pre-application process, to determine the viability of such a scheme and the required specification for a new pier.

TfL will seek contributions towards the operation of river services including enhancements to capacity from applications within an appropriate distance from the River Thames, assessed on a case-by-case basis. Contributions could include funding towards enhancing wayfinding signage within the vicinity of the development site to promote the use of river services.

Travel plans for developments which are within 750 metres of the River Thames should explore and promote measures to provide occupants with the option of using river services.

The Mayor's River Action Plan (March 2013, see above) provides further advice for applicants, where a development is proposed within 750 metres of the River Thames.

Construction advice

Any temporary works that would be required in order to carry out construction of river-associated infrastructure (eg short-term closure of any pier, relocation of cycle parking, temporary bus stop relocation, short-term highway alterations etc) would require, subject to agreement with TfL, interim replacement infrastructure provision.

All potential construction work should be detailed in a construction logistics plan which should be secured via planning condition.

For more information on construction periods that may impact on London River Services, please email us at: river@tfl.gov.uk.

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